2018 Broc Cellars GOT GRAPES Valdiguié
Region: Mendocino < CA
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming at two dry-farmed North Coast vineyards: Rosewood, with sandy clay loam soils at 400 ft elevation in the city called 10,000 Buddhas in Ukiah & Ricetti Vineyard, also in Mendocino; grapes are destemmed and fermented on the skins then pressed sweet into tank where they finished fermentation and aged in neutral French oak barrels for 6 months;zero added SO2; 12% ABV; 400 cases
Winemaker: Chris Brockway
WHY IS THIS A UNICORN? Zero-zero Valdiguié glou glou that tastes like a grapey romp through a cranberry forest.
Like our Donkey & Goat friends and so many natural winemakers in Cali, Chris operates more like a négociant in that he don't own any vineyards (nearly impossible in CA), but manages the farming for most. He works out of an urban winery in Berkeley (an old ink factory that he transformed) across the street from a cement plant and a motorcycle-repair shop. Also, like many vintners these days, he didn’t start in wine, but found his way moving to California to study oenology, first at UC Davis, then at Cal State Fresno, from which he emerged with the technical skills to make conventional wine. It wasn’t until he read Patrick Matthews’s Real Wine: The Rediscovery of Natural Winemakingthat he began to explore the possibilities of making wines focused on vineyard health and as little manipulation as possible in the cellar. Chris is definitely one of California’s OG natural producers, but his wines ride the classic line, palate wise. He says, “I’m not trying to out-weird anybody or obscure anybody,” he said. “We’re trying to get back to a more traditional concept of what wine used to be. Also, we like to drink wine, so lower alcohol is important.” A NYT article from a few years back nicely spins the Broc story, and describes the New California négociant model as “a future that depends on vision, hustle and entrepreneurship rather than, as in Napa Valley, inheritance or making a fortune in another business to finance wine ventures. It’s a vision that may seem cutting edge but in fact is a throwback to California’s past, both stylistically in terms of Broc’s wines and financially, in terms of its shoestring budget.”
This Valdiguié was originally picked for rosé, but Chris decided to keep a small portion to make this lighter French-inspired red which begs to be chilled. It’s a happy, crunchy cranberry juice box that feels so perfect for early fall!